Coronavirus crisis: people leaving Sydney and Melbourne to settle in Perth


Australians are still deserting Melbourne and Sydney in droves and moving to Perth and Brisbane, according to an online movers booking company.

“We’re a good indicator of the total number of people moving to Australia – you wouldn’t look at our site unless you wanted to move,” said Adam Coward, of Muval.

Based on tens of thousands of inquiries from the site each month, which closely track official interstate migration data, Melbourne recorded an annual net migration of -54% through the end of November.

This compares to 3% positive net migration in January 2020 before the pandemic hit and -64% during the city’s lockdown in September this year.

In Sydney, net migration was -47% at the end of last month, after reaching -58% during lockdowns in August.

Figures show that the number of people moving to the two capitals is about half of the number of departures.

“This is probably the highest migration we have ever seen (…) there has been a 40-50% growth in interstate movements from Melbourne and Sydney over the past year,” said Mr. Coward said.

Camera iconThe number of people moving to Sydney and Melbourne is about half of the number leaving. Credit: PAA

So if people are fed up with Australia’s two biggest cities, where do they go?

Brisbane is the most popular destination, according to Muval data, with net migration of + 78% for the year ending November 30.

People are also excited to move to the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, with Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay and Cairns popular.

Regional centers such as Newcastle, Wollongong and Ballarat are also generating interest.

Mr Coward said Muval’s data is important given the current lack of official figures on migration trends, data that is typically collected when people update their address with Medicare.

“There has been quite a shift in migration patterns in Australia and there are so many downstream implications,” he said.

The statistics office was due to release its latest estimates last week, but canceled the publication citing an unusually high number of Medicare address updates due to massive COVID-19 vaccinations.

“This represents an improvement in Medicare’s address data, but it is highly likely that many address updates do not reflect the movements that occurred in the June 2021 quarter,” ABS said. .

The most recent data set, for the March 2021 quarter, showed that capital cities suffered a net loss of 11,800 people, the largest quarterly net loss on record.

More than 100,000 people moved between states in the three months to March.

About 7,000 people moved to Queensland, while 4,900 people left Victoria and 4,500 left New South Wales.

Muval predicts that high levels of interstate moves will continue, with business growth expected to be 40% in December and January, as people rush to book moves before the start of the school year.

Melbourne’s population is expected to grow to 6.2 million by 2030-31, and Sydney to six million.


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